Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- William Anderson sets out a few of the most important realities about the Kraken COVID-19 variant and its place within the ongoing pandemic. Glen Pyle and Jennifer Huang confirm that infection results in a far greater risk of myocarditis than vaccination. And Julia Doubleday weighs in on the fact that the wealthy and powerful gathered in Davos demanded exactly the preventative measures for themselves that they've denied the rest of us.

- Meanwhile, Steven Lewis discusses how a focus on ensuring everybody has access to primary health care would alleviate both health inequalities and burdens throughout our health care system. But Taylor Noakes writes that the federal government may need to take the lead in building a public system where conservative premiers are solely interested in slashing and privatizing.

- David Macdonald offers a thorough look at which industries and recipients are reaping the spoils from inflation in Canada - with corporate profits predictably the main beneficiary. And Jim Stanford corroborates that conclusion with a look at how unit profit costs have soared while wages have barely budged.

- Finally, Michael Barnard discusses the decades of experience with nuclear power which make it clear it can't compete in a fair comparison to renewable energy.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Musical interlude

Marshmello, Halsey - Be Kind

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sara Berg discusses what U.S. doctors wish the public understood about COVID-19 - including the dangers of reinfection and the continued need for protective measures. Daniel Sarah Karatsik writes about the consequences of a decimated working class as movement organizing has to push deeper into "hidden publics" to address the most pressing problems. And Walker Bragman explores the massive pools of dark money funding anti-public health conspiracies, while Meghan Grant and Elise von Scheel report on the attempt by Danielle Smith's office to use the power of government to interfere in prosecutions for violent insurrection. 

- Lisa Young points out where the UCP's concurrent decision to slant a politicized inquiry against COVID action fits into its wider plans. And Phil Tank discusses how the Moe government has relied on spin and misdirection to avoid answering for its pitiful management of Saskatchewan even by conservative standards. 

- Jack Hauen reports on the belated recognition that Maple and other private health care operators are blatantly exploiting loopholes in the Canada Health Act. Robert Hiltz recognizes that Doug Ford and other right-wing premiers are deliberately undermining any public health care system so its spoils can be turned into corporate profit centers, while Liam Casey reports on the loud and urgent warnings from hospitals that a plan to rely on private surgery clinics will only result in even more needed workers being lost from the public system. And Sheila Block points out how much more capacity Ontario in particular could build merely by funding health care at average levels. 

- Carolyn Greene, Katharina Maier and Marta-Marika Urbanik offer a reminder of the harm being done by the closure of harm reduction sites. 

- Zak Vescera discusses how efforts to better include women in the construction trades are limited by a failure to make basic safety equipment available to them.

- Finally, David Klepper reports on the escalating climate misinformation since Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter. And Geoff Dembicki reports on Shell Canada's choice to reward a history of participation in climate denial. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Kelsey Piper writes about the U.S.' memory-holing of the successes of a vaccine program which resulted in exceptionally quick development and distribution of effective COVID vaccines (and should have set a precedent for future pandemic planning). 

- Dustin Cook and Mike Hager note that while Doug Ford tries to claim there's no alternative to turning surgeries into a profit center, B.C. is instead achieving actual improvements by investing its public health care system. And Ryan McGreal discusses how the structure of Canadian health care - including the concessions to profit-seeking baked in from the start - is facilitating the push to privatize. 

- Meanwhile, Richard Murphy points out that one-time lump sums being offered by the UK's Cons as a substitute for fair wages are intended only to lock workers into longer-term reductions in real pay. And Jeremy Appel writes about new CCPA research showing that the largest beneficiary of inflation in Canada has been the resource extraction section - which has seen massive windfall profits while passing virtually nothing along to workers. 

- Max Fawcett discusses how Danielle Smith is lying to Albertans about a just transition in order to keep public policy skewed toward the continued enrichment of oil and gas tycoons. And Hannah Ritchie points out the absurdity of spin attempting to justify continued reliance on dirty energy (and environmental destruction associated with its extraction) by complaining about the far lesser amount of mining required to supply clean alternatives. 

- Simon Enoch points out a couple of prime examples of Saskatchewan's corporate-owned politicians substituting meaningless words for policy which does anything to benefit people - including the Moe government's publicity blitz around the word "sustainable" in lieu of any plan to build an economy which is consistent with anything short of climate disaster. 

- Finally, Cat Zakrzewski, Cristiano Lima and Drew Harwell report on what the U.S. House of Representatives' January 6 committee learned about the actions of social media giants in allowing violent rhetoric to appease the alt-right. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- The World Health Organization has updated its guidelines for COVID-19 prevention and response - including recommendations for masking and isolation periods even when these have been largely abandoned by governments. 

- Mitchell Thompson reports on the Ford PCs' plans for health care privatization which include facilitating corporate providers in upselling costly and unnecessary services to patients. And the Star's editorial board and Robert Bell each highlight the lack of any justification for privatized surgical operations even without that additional source of greed-based health care. 

- Sean Tucker writes about the need for far more to be done to keep workers safe in Saskatchewan. And Zak Vescera discusses the insufficient policy response to one of British Columbia's most prominent workplace fatalities. 

- Patrick Greenfield reports on an investigation finding that one of the largest carbon offset funds in the world is based on phantom emission reductions (and may in fact be worsening the climate breakdown). Robert Reich calls out the media's failure to connect California's severe storms to climate change. 

- Meanwhile, Oliver Milman offers a reminder that the healing of the Earth's ozone layer represents an important success story in cooperative environmental policy - with the near-elimination of the use of the substances responsible as a vital element of the achievement. 

- Finally, Kelvin Chan reports on Oxfam's push for a windfall tax on food companies. And D.T. Cochrane points out how price increases on existing products can be expected to correlate with economic stagnation due to corporate herd effects. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Angled cats.

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Courtney Shea interviews Colin Furness about the combination of immunity theft and negligent public health messaging that's resulting in widespread avoidable illness, while Ashleigh McMillan reports on new research suggesting one in ten people infected with COVID-19 will end up with chronic health issues as a result. And Alexander Quon talks to Cory Neudorf and others about the causes of Saskatchewan's record COVID death toll in the year our government proclaimed the pandemic to be over. 

- Anam Khan reports on Nova Scotia's move to push newborn babies toward mobile clinics due to a lack of family doctors. And Mitchell Thompson reports on Doug Ford's plans to turn surgery into a corporate profit center - based specifically on his hostility toward publicly-administered health care. 

- Meanwhile, Bill Curry reports on the escalating amount of money being handed to McKinsey by the federal government (now over $100 million since the Libs took office) as a substitute for building the civil service. 

- David Farenthold and Talmon Smith report on how American food service workers have been conscripted to fund corporate lobbying against their own wages and working conditions. 

- Finally, Nicole Goodkind reports on the record levels of debt which have been accumulated globally - and the dangers of systemic collapse as interest rate hikes increase the cost associated with a larger amount borrowed. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Raywat Deondanan discusses some of the lessons which we should have taken from the COVID-19 pandemic (if it wasn't being forcibly disappeared down a memory hole for all practical purposes). And Nicole Sarden and Bryan Yipp have found that the lasting effects of COVID include compromising the ability of people's immune systems to fight common invasive fungal infections. 

- Meanwhile, Larissa Kurz reports that Saskatchewan's death toll in 2022 includes a record number of lost lives due to drug poisonings. 

- Steven Staples discusses how the military-industry complex has pushed the Trudeau Libs to break their promise not to pour billions of federal dollars into F-35 fighters of questionable utility. And John Woodside investigates how the financial sector is pushing to water down regulations to avoid any consideration of whether fossil fuel extraction is compatible with meeting Canada's international climate commitments. 

- Finally, Umair Haque writes about the decline of disruptive science and innovation, as the power exerted by people profiting from the status quo is both resulting in new ideas being squelched and the essentials of life being priced out of the reach of a large number of people. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Ed Browne examines the differences between the Kraken variant and the forms of COVID-19 which have come before. Char Leung, Li Su and Munehito Machida study how transmission different types of venues in Japan was reflected in further spread. And Benjamin Mateus discusses the readily-available options to clear air of COVID and other pathogens which are being ignored in favour of a strategy of denial.

- Michael Howard discusses how a basic income would effectively eradicate the U.S.' persistent poverty problem (among other social ills). 

- Meanwhile, Edward Keenan asks why Toronto (like so many other municipalities) is using force to destroy temporary encampments, rather than putting any resources into ensuring people have a safe home.  And Jason Vermes talks to Kayla DeMong about the need for support programs which don't insist on a miraculous, single-handed recovery from substance addiction as a precondition to any help.

- Katie Pedersen, Virginia Smart and David Common report on soaring cell phone bills across most of Canada as a narrowing corporate oligopoly squeezes consumers for every possible nickel. And Clement Nocos makes the case for a national public telecom provider to ensure people aren't systematically ripped off.

- Finally, Andrew Leach highlights how work toward a just transition is intended to make sure people who have previously depended on a declining fossil fuel sector have viable options for the future - in stark contrast to the desire of the UCP, Saskatchewan Party and their backers to focus solely on wringing short-term profits, then stick the workers and citizens who are left with all of the cost and risk of cleaning up the mess left behind.